Inspector backs Shropshire plan after housing need figure increase

An inspector has endorsed a Shropshire authority's local plan after the council agreed to raise the document's housing target from 15,555 to approximately 17,280 over the plan period.

Telford: local plan has been backed by inspector (picture: M J Richardson, Geograph)
Telford: local plan has been backed by inspector (picture: M J Richardson, Geograph)

In a report published last week week, inspector Michael Hetherington found Telford and Wrekin Council’s local plan sound, provided that a number of main modifications are made to it.

The main modifications were proposed by the council and were subject to a six-week public consultation.

They include an increase in the plan’s housing requirement from 15,555 to approximately 17,280 homes over the period 2011-2031 "following an increase in the objective assessment of the borough’s housing needs", according to the inspector’s report.

The report said that a number of representors had sought to challenge the council’s assessment of housing needs. "In summary, they consider the objectively assessed need (OAN) figure should be markedly higher than the council’s assessment," the report said.

According to the report, the council had initially adopted an OAN figure of 502 dwellings per annum, significantly lower than the plan’s target of 15,555 homes, equivalent to 778 dwellings per annum.

But the inspector said that he considered that there is a need for an "upwards adjustment to the demographic-based assessment of housing need".

The report said that the council has now accepted the findings of another inspector, who had concluded in an appeal decision that a figure of 864 dwellings per annum should be adopted.

"It therefore proposes to amend the plan’s housing requirement to approximately 17,280 dwellings," the report said.

Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet lead for the local plan, said: "It is standard practice for a planning inspector to make changes as a result of the examination in public and now that process is completed, we are a big step closer to the plan being adopted.

"Once it has been adopted, the local plan will provide the council with greater certainty regarding future development within the borough through a robust and up to date development plan."


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